NBA Scores: Jokic making the case for a third straight MVP

It was quite a Wednesday in the Association as 13 of the 20 teams in action scored at least 120 points, and four exceeded 130.

More than a third of the way through the season for most teams, the lay of the land in the East looks a lot more clear than it does in the West. In the East, there’s not a single tie in the top seven slots, and they’re separated by a clean seven games. In the Wild West, seven games is the difference between #1 and #12, three games separate the top seven, and three teams are tied for 4th.

Many of the stars in that Wild West – guys like Nikola Jokic, Damian Lillard, and Luka Doncic – all showed out for their teams on Wednesday, and the East had plenty of fireworks of their own. Here’s all the scores from around the NBA.

Detroit outscores Charlotte 141-134 in overtime

LaMelo Ball returned from an ankle injury to play in his fourth game of the season, but the Pistons were too busy looking for their eighth win to care. Ball did finish with a very respectable 23 points and 11 assists before fouling out with 30 seconds left in regulation.

Alec Burks continues to be an absolute bucket off the bench for Detroit, leading them with 27 points on just 12 shots and in just 26 minutes. Killian Hayes set a new season-high in points with 25, continuing a breakout stretch in Cade Cunningham’s absence.

Pacers beat Warriors 125-119 despite big night from Steph

Steph Curry only needed 30 minutes to total 38 points (5-10 3P), seven rebounds, seven assists, and two steals but exited the game with two minutes left in the third because of a left shoulder injury. Steve Kerr didn’t have much of an update post-game, but clarity could come early on Thursday when Curry has his MRI.

Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton hit five three-pointers of his own and was one of three Pacers – along with Rookie of the Year contender Bennedict Mathurin and forever-trade piece Myles Turner – to score 20+. Only one of these teams is above .500 at this point, and it sure isn’t the one people expected.

Magic’s future bright as ever in 135-124 win over Hawks

The Magic set a franchise record for first quarter scoring when they hung 50 in the opening frame on the Hawks. Orlando made twice as many shots from the field as Atlanta and six more threes in the 50-22 start. Over the rest of the game, Markelle Fultz flirted with a triple double while setting season highs in both assists (nine) and rebounds (seven) to go with his 16 points.

Chippy Kings rally over Raptors, 124-123

Down by as much as 16 in the first half, Sacramento used double doubles from its two stars, Domantas Sabonis (21 points and 20 rebounds) and De’Aaron Fox (27 points and 10 assists), to win in Toronto on a night where Fred VanVleet scored nearly 40. Kings head coach Mike Brown was ejected for having Fox’s back early in the second half, which may have given the team the boost it needed to get their 15th win.

Knicks pull away from Bulls in OT, win 128-120

Jalen Brunson was questionable coming in, but was unquestionably the best player on the floor, finishing with 30 points in the Knicks’ fifth straight win. Seven of his points, including this massive dagger near the end, came during overtime when the Knicks needed it most.

Herro, Heat catch fire from distance in 110-108 win over OKC

Tyler Herro finished with 35 points (career-high nine threes made, same amount as OKC, who shot 9-24) and hit the go-ahead mid-range shot with five seconds left. It was just barely enough to overcome Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who continued his All-Star pace with 27 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.

Hot start fuels Blazers past Spurs, 128-112

Cavs put the clamps on Mavs in 105-90 win

This one had a big “Luka vs Mitchell” feel to it, and both stars showed up big time, each scoring 30+ and combining for 10 assists. The difference was that Cleveland had five others reach double figures while Dallas only had three others. They also outrebounded the Mavs by 10 and turned it over just half as much (6-12).

Jokic gem pushes Nuggets past Wizards, 141-128

They’re certainly not going to give Nikola Jokic the MVP three years in a row, right? …Right? No player has “three-peated” since Larry Bird in 1983-86 and only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell (both in the 60s) have done it before that. It would be some pretty elite company to join, but if Jokic keeps having nights like this – just a casual 43 points (17-20 FG), 14 rebounds, and eight assists in 33 minutes – it might just happen.

Clippers choke out Wolves, 99-88

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